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The Renku Sessions: Timber Smoke – Week 25

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Greetings and welcome to The Haiku Foundation’s current Renku Session entitled, ‘Timber Smoke’. I am Marshall Hryciuk of Toronto, Canada and I will be leading this session through a 36-link kasen renku.

 

Back to haiku earth. And what better way to land than on an image of a pond? Yet, where Basho’s famous frog leaps to a deep aural resonance, Betty Shropshire’s link reminds us that we are, in our brief renku here, barely touching the motionless top of that water’s depths:

 

blue dashers
skim the surface
of a still pond 

Betty Shropshire

 

“‘blue dashers” are a species of dragonfly native and common to Eastern North America; hence the link to the previous verse, but not so obvious as to have an explicit verbal reference to ‘flying’. I appreciate that she writes “a” of “still pond”—not making the reference to Basho too heavy, and that the beautiful visual of bluish dragonflies has a plurality of them. Gives it that summery feeling of a pond that though placid is immensely alive. Straightforward writing with a smooth transfer of energy.

Thank-you Betty Shropshire.

 

We continue our terrestrial linking with another verse of summer seasonality: 2 lines, no flowers no moon and just a reminder that though everyone is encouraged to submit possible links, you cannot link with yourself.

Lots of attractive possibilities in the previous suggestions by this group of participants that might be condensed into two lines—

Happy linking
Marshall

 

 

Timber Smoke (so far)

 

nothing dimmed yet
timber smoke scent
sifts into the house

Marshall Hryciuk

 

one by one
I pick plums off of the ground

Alfred Booth

 

a file of cars
overtaking a tractor
on the mountain road

Keith Evetts

 

drawn out deer notes
echo in the coolness

Betty Shropshire

 

even paler
than the clearing fog
day moon

Mary White

 

handprints  and crumbs
I would miss them

Pamela Garry

 

giving pollen
a lift
on the bicycle bells

Laurie Greer

 

the tiffany blue
of 3 eggs in a nest

Eavonka Ettinger

 

scattered spores
following a random trail
through landmines

John Hawkhead

 

attempted murder
by the morality police

Rob Barkan

 

next door’s dog
barks
at our snowman

Carol Jones

 

the mailman’s breath
faintly white

Keith Evetts

 

Jacques Brel singing
“in the port of Amsterdam”
on the radio

Alfred Booth and Marshall Hryciuk

 

a whirligig of leaves
sweeps the deck clean

Wendy C. Bialek

 

evening begins
with a gift of opal
moonlight

Marion Clarke

 

beachcombers trade shells
as the tide comes in

Jonathan Alderfer

 

a morning glory
the hummingbird
unfolds

madeleine kavanaugh

 

stepping from the change room
in her prom gown

Laurie Greer

 

her scent
on the pillow
the morning after

Andrew Shimield

 

some vows
break easier than twigs

Dan Campbell

 

hand-calligraphed
happy new year postcard
smudge and all

Pamela Garry

 

hard to forget the party
and my off-tune singing

Biswajit Mishra

 

a blackbird tapping–
smiles and thanks me for
the seed

Melissa Dennison

 

sewing up an open wound
on the dragon’s flank

Tracy Davidson

 

blue dashers
skim the surface
of a still pond

Betty Shropshire

 

 

 

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This Post Has 81 Comments

  1. The arrangement will lead the party forward far beyond the solar system.

    blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    —Betty Shropshire

    fig tree’s second crop
    signed in a cloudburst

  2. on the first hot day
    it’s glow not sweat

    last day of school
    he requests a buzz cut

    meeting at the trailhead
    everyone’s a year older

  3. Hi Andrew!
    Marshal is waiting for you in the shade of an oak.
    Scroll down and keep your eyes peeled on the twitching cow’s tail.

      1. Pamela, I can’t help but say your message to Andrew is filled with such poetic charm!

    1. Or

      a minor key from the sax
      fills this sultry night

      I’m having problems as I wanted to use
      “a low minor note” but already note has already appeared in the renku. 😞

  4. following a rattlesnake
    on the hiking trail

    confessing my sins
    under a waterfall

    fresh bear poop
    on the hiking trail

  5. Congratulations Betty!

    firefly code
    lighting up the night

    firefly lanterns
    above the wishing well

    mini-stars
    sparkling in the backyard

  6. Congratulations, Betty, on your verse.
    blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    –Betty Shropshire

    a blue jay waits
    for the wash to hang

    staring at the sky
    from the hammock

    in a hammock
    staring up at the stars

    wearing flip flops
    to the ice cream stand

  7. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    ——-Betty Shropshire
    .

    the Great Bear rises up
    over our campfire
    .

    lapis lazuli ground fine
    for a clear sky
    .

    dust devil calligraphy
    awaits translation
    .

    our canoe wake ripples
    the stars

  8. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    — Betty Shropshire

    well trained professionals
    dance rings around the stars

  9. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    — Betty Shropshire

    smearing sunscreen
    before the book of hours

    midnight in the alps
    there! a shooting star

    hammock dreams
    of Puck and Tatiana

    dwindling days
    the search for lost time

  10. absolutely cherish the story behind your lovely poem betty,
    those limestone pools are fascinating! wish you a full recovery!

    wonderful pick, marshall, you brought us all back to earth
    in a beautiful way.

  11. Many thanks everyone and, especially, Marshall! Having struggled with covid the past few weeks, this has really lifted my spirits!
    Marshall, I almost changed that “a” so really appreciate your read and commentary on the linkage to Basho’s “still pond”.
    My experience with those blue dashers are from my volunteer days at a park out in far west Texas. I loved watching them in the few spring-fed ponds beneath limestone rock shelters where marvelous ancient pictographs (over 4,000 yrs. old) were hidden. It was magical watching them flit about while I sat there pondering our shared ephemeral existence.
    Again, thank you all for the lovely feedback.
    Betty

  12. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    gambling a roll of pennies
    on the beach house wishing well
    *
    a penny comes up dry
    from the beach house wishing well
    *
    the well’s insatiable thirst
    for summer- tourist wishes

  13. taking a dip
    with the stars

    raindrops and
    traces of stars

    the brief twinkling of stars
    rolling down the tree’s bark

  14. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    the cow’s tail twitching
    under the shade of an oak

    1. hi Andrew -could we streamline this a bit; especially the definite articles, by changing it to:

      ‘twitching of a cow’s tail
      in the shade of an oak’ ?

      Marshall

  15. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire

    the flash of fireflies
    for a brief moment

  16. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire

    napping with a wet towel
    wrapped around my dreams

  17. betty you made a great link and shift with your very choice selection of ‘blue dashers’ kudos for your wisdom and creativity for this wonderful image and so gracefully gliding us back to earth with this excellent edition to our renku.
    marshall…i support your choice for betty’s verse….the very best!

  18. a summer hair cut takes
    the last bit off the top

    skinny dipping with
    the A/C repair man

    mildew spots on
    an old pair of Speedos

  19. a blackbird tapping–
    smiles and thanks me for
    the seed

    sewing up an open wound
    on the dragon’s flank

    blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond

    Offers :

    distracted convolutions :
    the sights and sounds of summer

    a gull hovers in wind
    over a sparkling sea

    a clear-sky message to pilot
    Check your altitude now !

  20. Fantastic verse from Betty which was a truly inspired link from the last verse.

    slip and slide
    with the garden hose

    pop goes the weasel
    from an ice cream truck

  21. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    drunk on vacation drawings
    of sea grapes
    *
    intoxicated
    with drawings of sea grapes
    *

  22. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    savoring the sea breeze
    in every sip of sun tea
    *

  23. Congratulations, Betty, a beautiful poem for our renku! Thank-you Marshall for the wonderful read.

  24. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    a slow walk with the dunes
    after the heat of the day

  25. Congratulations Betty, a beautiful imagistic verse! And those lovely blue dashers occur not just in the East but all across North America. I’ve always loved the names of dragonflies—there must have been some poets among the entomologists who named them.

    blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    ——-Betty Shropshire
    .

    the zazen space
    between raindrops
    .

    ripe blackberries
    stain our hands
    .

  26. blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    bellyflopping into
    a nose full of lake

  27. Beautiful dragonfly verse, Betty! And thanks again, Marshall, for picking out something so special.
    **
    blue dashers
    skim the surface
    of a still pond
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    a rumble of thunder
    clears the air
    *
    picnic plans shaken up
    by a rumble of thunder
    *

    1. I am grateful to experience Renku for the first time with each of you! Congratulations Betty and Marshall!

      blue dashers
      skim the surface
      of a still pond
      —Betty Shropshire

      cicada’s shedded shell
      vibrating still

      in the container garden
      I hoe

      spelling love
      in the sandbox

      meniscus mirages
      in the endless summer

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